Don’t miss Jen’s discovery that God=Love:
Growing up in the Bible Belt, I was frequently exposed to the expression “God is Love.” I saw it on t-shirts, bumper stickers and the occasional Precious Moments figurine, and figured that I pretty much knew what it meant: it was a shorthand way of describing one of God’s characteristics, i.e. “God (that Guy we believe in who’s kind of like a dad, only nicer) is love (meaning he’s really, really, really loving).” Right?
It is only recently that I realized that I had it wrong. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the conversion process, maybe the biggest lesson I learned in my life, was that the phrase “God is Love” is meant to be taken literally: God is love. God = Love. It’s not just some characteristic, but his essence. To paraphrase the Cynical Christian’s recent post on a similar subject, when we say “God is love,” we’re not describing what God is, we’re describing what love is—love is God.
But Christ is not talking to a crowd. He is talking to me. He didn’t invite the whole Church as his abstract, collective bride—he asked me to come and meet Him.
I’m still a little bit stunned at this new-old idea, and I haven’t figured out what it means yet. So far, I’ve discovered that when I sin, it’s not just “what we humans do”—it’s personal.
There’s another side to that terrifying discovery, though: if it’s personal on my end, then that must mean that if I were the only person in the world, He would still have become a man and died for me.
If I hear the word of God as a vague, disjointed speech, it’s not because the crowd is too big or because He doesn’t know how to project His voice. It’s because He’s trying to get my attention, and I keep trying to blend in, pretending I think He’s speaking in abstract terms to abstract people. He keeps proposing marriage, and I keep changing the subject. He keeps trying to put the ring on my finger, and I keep pulling my hand away.